North Korea is facing international censure for sinking a South Korean warship in March. Pyongyang has rejected blame, saying that the claim was fabricated and threatened war if sanctions were imposed.
Earlier suggestions for the cause of the sinking included accidental collision with an unexploded sea mine left over from the Korean War. However, a team of investigators, including experts from America, Australia, Britain, and Sweden, found part of a torpedo on the sea floor that matched the lettering of a North Korean design.
The U.S. has called the sinking an “act of aggression,” and Britain, Japan, and Australia have also expressed anger over the sinking.
Pyongyang said it would send its own inspection team to “verify the material evidence” behind the accusation. Meanwhile, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak vowed to take “stern action.”
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Continue reading BBC News: North Korea faces anger over sinking of South’s warship
The Gulf of Mexico oil spill will bring clean-up workers and volunteers into contact with hazardous materials that can affect human health. A review of the health impacts of five recent oil spills shows an assortment of symptoms including respiratory problems, dermatitis, headaches, throat irritation, DNA damage and depression.
Scientific studies on the health impacts of oil spills on residents, volunteers and workers were conducted following the Exxon Valdez spill of 1989, the Braer spill of 1993, the Sea Empress spill of 1996, the Erika oil spill of 1999 and the Prestige spill of 2002.
These studies show that people who live or work in these conditions are at risk for a variety of physical and mental health problems
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Continue reading The Daily Green: The Health Effects of Oil Spills
Recent research has the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) concerned that the huge quantities of metal, plastic, paint chips and other man-made debris floating at sea, hundreds and even thousands of miles from land, may be working their way into the American diet. NOAA, a part of the Commerce Department, largely exists to track weather patterns and hurricanes, and its entry into the public health sphere serves as an indication of how severe the problem has become. It is not too much to suggest that millions of seafood lovers might be ingesting the very chemicals that land-based health and safety regulations are designed to keep out of reach.
Garbage swirling in the Great Pacific Gyre. Photo by flickr / cesarharada.com
Continue reading Fish and Paint Chips Part I: The Science of Trash